David Eaves

has taken a look at the linking policies of major US and UK news websites, and found a correlation between the number of outbound links and incoming links.

This, he says, indicates that rather than taking away valuable page views, being generous with outbound links can actually benefit publishers by increasing the number of incoming links.

For instance, the BBC and the New York Times both have over 1.7m outbound links and receive more than 25m incoming links.

But sites that are more stingy, such as The Daily Express and The Star, both receive far fewer incoming links.

There are a few anomalies in the list. For instance, The Independent, which only links out from its blogs, had 1.46m outbound links and 3.7m incoming.

By contrast, The Telegraph sends out 333,000 links from blogs and news articles, and has received 3.7m inbound.

I asked David why this is:

“Up until fairly recently I just don’t think that the Independent fully embraced the internet and SEO. This could explain why they are behind in terms of inbound links.

“The Mail and the Telegraph both do very well despite not linking out very often (although they are getting better with the blogs). This is because the type of content they produce does incredibly well on social sites like Digg.”

Related research:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Best Practice Guide 2007

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The ongoing battle for links

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